The charm and character of an older home cannot be understated; however, the electrical wiring within such homes often calls their safety into question. Times have changed, and with them, electrical codes—primarily for heightened safety and to accommodate our growing desire for electronic devices. Why do you need to upgrade your wiring if you live in an older home? The experts at Harrison Electric in Plymouth, Minn. are here to explain:

Safety First

If you live in an older home, chances are your outlets are not properly grounded. What does that mean? Every outlet features a “hot” wire that transfers electricity from a power source to your home, and a “neutral” wire that sends electricity back toward that power source. Newer outlets also include an important safety feature, a ground wire. The ground wire is responsible for transferring excess electricity—think of power surge—away from your home, toward the ground, where it dissipates.

How do you know if your outlets are grounded?

Take a look at one of your outlets; if it only has two vertical slots, it’s ungrounded. Not only does an ungrounded outlet present a confounding issue for three-pronged plugs, but it also puts your home and family in danger. Ungrounded outlets cannot handle power surges with the same efficiency that grounded outlets can, thus, increasing your chances of shock, fire or worse, electrocution. If you have ungrounded outlets in your home, a qualified electrician can perform an electrical outlet replacement to help keep you and your family safe.

You Need More Power

Older homes—those built more than 30 years ago—typically feature antiquated wiring that complies with decades-old electrical codes. This wiring was built and installed to withstand current draw from appliances and other electronics that were far less demanding than modern-day products. 

Today, the average home requires approximately 100 amps to power our arsenals of electronic devices and appliances; older homes generally offer up just 60 amps—not nearly enough for our modern-day needs. And, if you factor in central air conditioning or heating, you’re looking at closer to 150 to 200 amps to supply adequate power. If your home’s wiring hasn’t been updated in the last 30 years, it’s time to have an inspection and replace your outdated electrical work.

Improve Ease of Use

Thirty or forty years ago, we didn’t rely on our electronics the way we do today. Cell phones weren’t necessary, tablets didn’t exist, and home automation? That was a long way off. And so, because every new toy didn’t come with a charging cable back in the 70s and 80s, houses didn’t require an outlet on every wall. Times have changed.

For example, modern electrical code requires that kitchen outlets be spaced no more than 48 inches apart. Living areas, on the other hand, must feature an outlet every 12 feet. If you live in an older home, however, you may have as little as one outlet per room! If you’re tired of traveling from room to room to find a free outlet, it’s time to upgrade. A qualified electrician can safely wire in additional electrical outlets according to modern code, giving you the freedom to charge all of your devices from a single room.

Electrical Upgrades in the Twin Cities

When your home needs an electrical upgrade, the experts at Harrison Electric are just a phone call away. For over 30 years, we’ve been serving the Twin Cities metro area with high-quality work, transparent pricing, and guaranteed performance. Whether you need outlet replacement, an upgrade for your old electrical panel, or complete rewiring, we have the expertise you need and service you can trust. For any questions or to schedule your service appointment, give us a call at 763-544-3300, or you can message us on our contact page.


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